Well, here is yet another blog post on an aspect of the Sands of Menechtarun. This time I would like to focus on one of the rare encounters you might stumble upon, Commander Errulf. Commander Errulf is a firebrand gnoll who can be located in small camp just above the quest entrance to Maraud the Mines. He shares time at this location with Lieutenant Ayurro (who you will see much more often). Commander Errulf is well known because his chest has the potential to drop the boots, Firestorm Greaves.
So besides being a powerful and vicious gnoll in the Firebrand Camp of the desert, who is Commander Errulf? We know practically nothing about this particular gnoll and we can’t really determine a whole lot of his backstory from the desert itself or from Maraud the Mines or Chains of Flames, the two quests that feature the Firebrand Gnolls. From his rank, I’m guessing that Commander Errulf is the leading officer for the Firebrand Gnoll forces that guards the perimeter of their territory and the entrance to the Burning Mountain. I’m also assuming that because he tends to share time at his post with Lieutenant Ayurro, that he likes to make rounds around the perimeter to make sure his forces are staying vigilant.
However, how did Errulf obtain his rank? It is known that gnolls are generally quite aggressive and crave the hunt and they routinely fight each other to establish dominance. It is also well known that gnolls are very loyal to their family and to those they have considered to be friends, even with the constant in-fighting for dominance. Therefore it is possible that Errulf raised to his position by simply being the strongest in his clan or pack within the Firebrand Gnolls. I’m not entirely sure how structured their military institution is, but I can see gnolls having battles to determine rank, especially ranks for higher levels within the military structure. I also wouldn’t be surprised that being a member of a high ranking family also influences a standing an individual gnoll would received within their clan.
Therefore, it makes me wonder if Commander Errulf is related to General Muurajha or possibly General Hruvayah. I don’t think this relationship would be paternal because gnolls don’t typically have a long life span (30 years or so). However, it is possible that Errulf is a sibling of these higher ranking gnolls or even possibly a cousin.
What is clear is that Commander Errulf seems to hold an important position, even being responsible for guarding some high profile pieces of loot.
So, what do you think is Commander Errulf’s background. Thanks for reading and happy hunting in the desert!!
I have mentioned a number of times how much I like the Sands of Menechtarun. I find the quests out there fun to do, the wilderness area fun to explore, and lore for the entire area extremely interesting. I have written in the past about the various factions that an explorer can expect to encounter in this area and how I believe they might interact with other. However, there are so many questions that are still left unanswered. Primarily, questions about the culture and the history of how the area became settled are still unknown.
One of the things I’m curious about is the history of the Windlasher Gnolls. I’m assuming that a scouting party of gnolls made their way to the Windlasher Canyon of Menechtarun. My suspicion is that this happened after King Raiyum pretty much devastated his kingdom and raised himself to be a lich. I’m guessing the leaders of the Windlasher Gnolls such as Den Mother Fheena, Den Mother Yheeroua, Yurrugh the Swift, Zheeregh the Summoner, Ruuh–Ooru the Packmaster, and Uneeou made some type offer to King Raiyum. I’m guessing that Windlasher Gnolls offered to maintain and protect the king’s ruins and his secrets. I’m also guessing they agreed to help augment the King’s military of undead servants and other planar warriors, primarily mephits.
Of course, this assumes that these talks between King Raiyum and the Windlasher Gnoll clan were relatively recent in comparison to our own adventurers showing up in Stormreach. It is very possible that the Windlasher Gnolls may have been inhabiting this area for many generations and that the ancestors of the current leaders of the Windlasher Gnolls were the ones to strike up the deal with King Raiyum when he was still a living being. If this is indeed the case, then this implies that the gnolls have maintained a fairly loyal relationship with the King, which I don’t find reasonable. Gnolls are naturally violent, territorial, and clanish with various members within the pack continuously jockeying for power. I find it highly reasonable that the Windlasher Gnolls are biding their time and waiting for a power grab of some sort. Of course this whole situation probably got more complicated when Raiyum brought Queen Lailat into the mix and now the Windlasher had to contend with her, the Firebrand Gnolls, and the Scorrow.
Pondering the Windlasher Gnolls.
Oh, so many questions and so many answers. I wonder if our adventurers ever stumble upon any journals or tomes of history for these clans when they encounter them. Of course I’m not certain how well gnolls can write, but I’ m sure some of them can since some are casters. I wonder…
Thanks for reading everbody. Happy hunting in the Sands of Menechtarun.